At first, Home will only work on some Android devices, including HTC Corp.’s One X and One X Plus and Samsung Electronics Co.’s Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note 2. For now, Home isn’t compatible with the Nexus phone designed by Google, a fierce Facebook rival whose pliable Android software is being modified to accommodate the new service.
A phone from HTC that comes pre-loaded with Home will be available, with AT&T Inc. as the carrier. The HTC First will sell for $99.99 with a two-year data plan from AT&T.
Home is debuting after several years of speculation that Facebook intended to make its own phone or mobile operating system to drive more traffic to its social network. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the speculation never made sense to him because he believes a company-produced phone might only end up in the hands of 10 million to 20 million people. The Home service gives Facebook a chance to take control of the main screen of every phone running on Android, the leading mobile operating system. In the U.S. alone, about 64 million people will be relying on Android-driven phones this year, estimated the research firm eMarketer.
“Just building a phone isn’t enough for Facebook,” Zuckerberg said Thursday during Home’s unveiling at the company’s Menlo Park, California, headquarters.
The idea behind the software is to bring Facebook content right to users’ home screens, rather than requiring them to check various apps to see what their friends are up to, or to chat. Down the line, Facebook will integrate its existing camera app and other features. Though cameras and calls won’t be built into the initial version of Home, Zuckerberg promised the software will be updated at least once a month to add more features and fix bugs.<< previous 1 2 3 4 next >>